Vladimir Tarasenko

Discussion in 'St. Louis Blues' started by TheGoldenGod, Oct 23, 2018.

?

Has he peaked?

  1. Yes

    59.6%
  2. No

    40.4%
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  1. TheGoldenGod

    TheGoldenGod Registered User

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    I'm curious to read everybody's thoughts/opinions on number 91.

    How do you think he's looked so far this season? How does he look compared to the player he was 3-4 years ago?

    To me he's been a little underwhelming so far and still looks like he lacks that game to game consistency and engagement level. I'm expecting some sort of patented hot streak from him but is this the player he is now and moving forward?

    I do not mean for this to be a negative thread so I hope people don't take it that way.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
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  2. ort

    ort Registered User

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    He has changed a lot.

    3-4 years ago, he looked deadly every time he hit the ice. He was scoring 40 goals a year, but looked like he could hit 50 or 60. He got like 5 grade A scoring chances per game.

    He's evolved into a guy who will probably get about 30 goals a year and has no bearing on the game in any way unless he shows up on the scoresheet.

    He's regressed BIG TIME. He barely plays defense. He can't hit the net. He just looks lost. He has for the last 2 years or so.

    Has he peaked? I'll say that if his peak was 40 goals, it's probable that he never hits that again so I'm going to say yes.

    Maybe a coaching change would do him some good. I don't know, but he's not close to the same guy he used to be.
     
  3. BlueDream

    BlueDream Registered User

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    I'll start by saying I never believed he could hit 50. That number gets thrown around a little too much considering how hard that is to do. He's never really had the consistency to do it. He's always been a little bit overhyped too. He's a great goal scorer that has had some good seasons but can a team win with him as "the guy" up front?

    With his shot, he should be a pretty consistent 40-goal guy but even that is in jeopardy now.

    I don't think he's looked the same ever since the 2016 WCF. He was awful in that series. He did rebound with a pretty solid 2016-2017 season but has gotten worse since then.

    He's 27 soon, he's peaked. I don't really understand how anyone thinks he has this other level that we haven't seen yet. It's just not that realistic. He's not interested in playing a 2-way game and he apparently doesn't have the ability to diversify his offensive arsenal. He's becoming a one trick pony. And slimming down doesn't seem to be a concern to him either. It's all kind of a shame, but in a way it's not surprising either.
     
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  4. Stealth JD

    Stealth JD Get some beer...and some...cleaning products. Sponsor

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    I think he could hit 75-80 points again. Maybe not this season...but he’s far from done. Yeo isn’t the guy to get him to take his game up a notch however.
     
  5. Dbrownss

    Dbrownss Registered User

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    Hitch riding his ass and Backes trying to beat his ass kept the fire lit.
     
  6. David Dennison

    David Dennison Registered User Sponsor

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    Offensively probably yes, but his all around game could still improve.
     
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  7. BraydenSchenn

    BraydenSchenn Registered User

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    There's an underlying issue here and I think it's coaching.

    Under Hitch, he wasn't given any leeway as a "superstar." He got limited minutes and Hitch forced Tarasenko to buy into his system.

    Now under Yeo, he's been given that title of the "guy." Or he's being taught to play a different way.

    I also think he should lose some weight. Not that's he's fat, but could use the added speed/conditioning from being 10-15 pounds lighter.

    Regardless, I want him under a new coach.
     
  8. EastonBlues22

    EastonBlues22 Administrator

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    I want to see how he looks at least a full year past his shoulder surgery before writing him off as permanently diminished.

    If I had to bet on it, I'd say that this year was more likely to be the worst of his next three years than his best.
     
  9. Old Blueser

    Old Blueser Registered User

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    I keep trying to remember the last time he was hit in the head, he came back quickly I recall but that's dubious in the NHL. What I see is his reaction time is very slow, especially without the puck. With the puck, he's just not the same guy who snapped off all those great wristers early on. He's more methodical, less confident, just slower? Not sure.

    Without the puck he's very slow to react in loose puck situations. Part of this is his tendency to want to cherry pick--he hopes the other guys retrieve the puck so he can worry about scoring. I completely disagree with the poster above who said he bought into Hitch's system. One of my main frustrations with Hitch was that he didn't demand Tarasenko do so, he let him cherry pick like Patrick Kane or early Ovechkin. So you still catch him way up ice hoping for a stretch pass while his teammates are grinding out some loose puck situation in their end.

    He also tends to be all arms when he does try for loose pucks, preferring to use his stick instead of actually entering scrums. Again, some of this is attributable to not wanting to get out of position to turn back to offense, but at the end of the day it all adds up to a player who's not committed to working hard for the puck in a way that is demanded of the other players on the team.

    Hard for me to believe this coach's son isn't embarrassed to be a one-way player.
     
  10. PiggySmalls

    PiggySmalls Oink Oink MF

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    Growing up Vova had his dad and grandpa staying on his ass training and pushing him. Like others have said, Hitch did the same thing. Now he doesn't have the same staying on his ass. I hope the next HC has a history of dealing with superstars and and can push him.

    The similarities between him and Hull when it comes to work ethic on the ice is crazy similar.
     
  11. BlueDream

    BlueDream Registered User

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    If he was as good as Hull then it wouldn't matter.

    But at this point, I almost find it comedic that he needs someone to push him. He should be able to do that himself.

    I know it's popular to blame Yeo but that's Tarasenko's own problem.
     
  12. Celtic Note

    Celtic Note Living the dream

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    I agree with that. But he also looks decidedly slower.
     
  13. LetsGoBooze

    LetsGoBooze New Core = Good Lawd

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    Gonna give his shoulder more time to heal b4 jumping to conclusions.
     
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  14. Spektre

    Spektre Registered User

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    Tarasenko, like Hull, will never fully be appreciated until he's left the Blues. He has 6 pts in 8 games coming off shoulder surgery. He could very easily have 2-3 more pts if his passes were buried for goals. For all the crap he gets about his defensive play, Schwartz by comparison, has never been good in the defensive zone. Yes Schwartz will back check but he's not going to catch anyone because he lacks the speed to do so. I like Schwartz. I like his tenacity, aggressiveness, and willingness to battle on the boards. Schwartz has to have those qualities to be an NHL player, Tarasenko doesn't. That might rub some people the wrong way but it's just stating a fact. Tarasenko is simply a much more skilled player. There isn't a big long list of players throughout the history of the NHL that have great talent and a great work ethic in all facets of the game. It simply hardly happens. If people are waiting for Tarasenko to become Yzerman, I can save you the wait time. It's never going to happen. Let Tarasenko be the best at what he's the best doing which is putting up points.

    He'll be fine and he'll start scoring more goals. After 5 full seasons in the NHL I don't understand why people would have different expectations. I've said it before but it's worth mentioning here too. Fans and media alike say Tarasenko had a down year last year with scoring 33 goals. From 2014-15 to 2017-18 one player has scored more regular season goals than Tarasenko and that's Ovie. Just one. Not 20, 50, 100, 300... just 1, and he's one of the best goal scorers of all time. Schwartz has 79 people with more goals due in some part because he has a hard time staying healthy.

    What about overall points in that same stretch of time. Maybe Tarasenko can't pass the puck around the ice and is simply one dimensional. He comes in at 12th overall with 149 goals and 139 assists, right behind Malkin in 11th. Schwartz comes in at 78th overall. The Blues currently have 1 superstar forward in Tarasenko and another borderline one in O'Reilly. Holy hell, of all the things to complain about, Tarasenko seems like grasping for straws in the most desperate way.
     
  15. Saint Loser

    Saint Loser "(they) are unavoidably unsafe" - SCOTUS

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    Agree with Blue Dream. Pretty much summed up my thoughts.

    If Tarasenko cannot drive himself by now, then he ultimately lacks the inner fortitude necessary to be more successful in the NHL and to be a complete player.
     
  16. Old Blueser

    Old Blueser Registered User

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    I wonder what evidence people have for Hitch riding his ass because I saw the opposite. He was the only true offensive threat on those teams and was allowed to ignore 2/3 of the ice in the hopes of the Blues getting a goal. i don't recall him ever digging out pucks or being a backchecking force. I do recall every time he was on ice the game plan being geared around trying to force feed him the puck in certain spots (usually cutting right to left in the slot as he faced the goal). A tendency that made things predictable come playoff time.

    Also the OP suggests we may have seen the best of him...whether or not he has been a top goal scorer up to this point isn't the question. It's whether his contract looks great for a one-way player from here on out.

    I don't recall Hitchcock ever taking minutes away from him for failing to play a full game. Too afraid we couldn't score a goal without him.
     
  17. Davimir Tarablad

    Davimir Tarablad Registered User

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  18. DoubleK81

    DoubleK81 Registered User

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    I think when a lot people people think Russian, they automatically assume the greats,OV, Federov, Bure, Mogilny, Datsyuk, Malkin, Kovalchuk, etc. Vladdi was NEVER on that level. And I love the guy. Thats not to say he can't go down as one of the franchise greats.

    While I have been generally disappointed with his play last year, I really think he is making an effort to round things out. OV is in what, his 13th? year, and just started to get things together in the last couple seasons.

    I want to see 91 spend his entire career in STL, and win a cup here. At some point, EVERYthing will click for him, and as much as some may be impatient for it, it will happen. I hope its here.
     
  19. Celtic Note

    Celtic Note Living the dream

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    Hull could certainly score goals when he was here, but he evolved into a more complete player when he left. Then he won a Cup. Ovechkin just did the same thing with the same results. Tarasenko has to do more when the puck isn’t on his stick. The puck isn’t on his stick all that much for all his skill. He is a drain on his teammates in so many instances. The Leafs game is a perfect example of what he needs to do.

    Personally I don’t care if Tarasenko is good enough to be in the NHL based on skill alone. He can go do that on a losing team. If we are going to do damage in the playoffs, he has to do more.

    You can only be a floater on a winning team if you out produce your counterpart on the opposition. He doesn’t do that often enough to make up for his liabilities.
     
  20. Falco Lombardi

    Falco Lombardi AKA Dolph Ziggler

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    Too soon to tell. I want to give more time for his shoulder before making that type of call.
     
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  21. Celtic Note

    Celtic Note Living the dream

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    Agreed. As we have seen, shoulder surgery recovery can take some time. He is pointing relatively well considering.
     
  22. taylord22

    taylord22 Registered User

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    I'm slightly concerned there's a kink in his release, but I haven't been dissatisfied with his effort, relative to years passed. He's back-checked pretty aggressively in the NZ and has taken the body frequently on the forecheck. DZ is still a disaster for him. Forced passes...still an issue. Trying to "skill" through D, without speed...been an issue since the 40 goal year. No better. No worse, IMO

    What I am concerned about are the "looks" the last 4-5 games. It didn't all start when he went on Schenn/Schwartz's wing, but, I'm one of the few around here (it seems) that doesn't buy into the grouping. I don't think he and Schenn mesh well off the forecheck. On the rush, they're great. But, his success seemed overly dependent on the rush. Not trying to blame teammates here. His "reads" off of Schwartz/Schenn's tendency to play close in hard ice has just never been good.

    He's definitely in a funk right now and I'm flipping back and forth between being worried it is shoulder/release related vs. just confidence. He looked great the first 2-3 games, I thought. Just watching him during the rut, I don't questions the skill as much as I do the head. I'm worried he went from just "playing" to trying to be the leader/do-the-right-thing, and just doesn't know how to go about it.
     
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  23. MissouriMook

    MissouriMook A Mook Among Men Sponsor

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    I feel like all three of Schwartz, Schenn and Tarasenko are struggling a bit to find their game. I would like to see them kept together for a couple of weeks at least since they had such great chemistry 12 months ago to see if they can all help each other shake out of their respective funks. If they can, that line will be a force again.
     
  24. blueper

    blueper Registered User

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    I have changed my thinking on him. He was a captain for Russia. He seemed like a "team first"guy when he arrived. And he is a coach's son. Over time, he has proven that he's really not that kind of player. He gives the right quotes and acts the right way when an unsung teammate scores a goal, but I don't see that as being authentic anymore. His moodiness and inconsistent play doesn't add up to a "team first" guy IMO. I don't think the Blues can count on him to work hard through rough patches in a 7 game series or a long playoff run, ... at least not with Petro as his captain.
    He has started to play hard away from the puck and defensively in spurts this year. But it's still so sporadic. He will check a guy one shift or back check hard one shift and then just ignore a puck carrier skating 2 feet away from him the next shift. Right now I'm disappointed in the player he has become. Wouldn't mind one bit if the Blues would find a trade partner for him. Just don't see them winning anything substantial counting on him.
     
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  25. TheGoldenGod

    TheGoldenGod Registered User

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    His body language can be discouraging sometimes. Especially when the team isn't playing well, he's struggling personally, or when it just seems he isn't getting a lot of touches. It's almost looks as if he becomes disinterested if he doesn't get his chances early. I wouldn't mind all that much as long as he's producing but he's been dubbed the face of this franchise and has been rewarded the "A" on a team with multiple options for that letter.

    That moment with Berglund on the bench last season always seems to pop up in my head, important or not. There just seemed to be some resentment between those two. Doesn't matter now though...Randy Karraker did also have a source that claimed there was some possible tension between him and Schenn last season on 101.1 ESPN
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018

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